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Aadhaar cards cannot be made mandatory for gas connections: SC

Sep 23, 2013 12:13 PM IST India India

New Delhi: In a major setback for the Centre, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Aadhar numbers/cards being prepared by the Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI) can't be the sole proof for the government's various schemes. The SC issued the order after hearing a Public Interest Petition (PIL) seeking to examine the legal sanctity of Aadhar.

Aadhar is one of the main schemes of the UPA-2. It is headed by the Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani.

The SC asked the Centre not to make Aadhar mandatory to get the benefit of government schemes and to avail various services of the state and central government. A retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, KS Puttaswamy, had filed a PIL alleging that the government is bypassing Parliament by going ahead with the distribution of UID numbers and cards to all residents.

The PIL had also raised doubts over the collection of personal data by the government. It had argued that it not only violated the citizen's fundamental right to privacy but was also an executive act in overreach of Parliament, which is yet to grant statutory powers to Aadhar.

The petitioner, Justice Puttaswamy said he has verified that the Aadhar proposed to give UID numbers not only to citizens, but also illegal migrants pursuant to a scheme framed by the government through an executive order of January 28, 2009.